Bungoma Governor Wycliffe allegedly spent Sh43 million on MCAs for a foreign trip to silence them ahead of his multi-billion flagship projects, we can now reveal.
According to a memo leaked to this popular news site, the MCAs took advantage of the Governor’s hunger to initiate multi billion projects to broker for the hefty-allowances trip to neighboring country Uganda.
According to a story published by The Star on Saturday, Governor Wangamati took the MCAs to Uganda on Wednesday last week at a tune of Sh43 million to benchmark for an Industrial Park project that the Governor is keen to initiate in Webuye though some county officials have put the figure at Sh15 million.
Uganda is known to have a successful industrial park that has created thousands of job opportunities through agro-processing which has boosted her economic muscles.
But how did this reach this level? Sources within the ever-controversial Bungoma County Assembly have narrated to this writer how the MCAs blackmailed the Governor to give them the trip or face rebellion throughout the remainder of his term.
On December 20, 2017, this website ran an expose on how the newly-elected MCAs were plotting to extort money from Governor Wycliffe Wangamati.
A year later, the same MCAs staged street demos in Bungoma town chatting anti-Wangamati songs citing poor development record. However, we again ran the story exposing the dirty tricks behind the demos where the MCAs were actually protesting the “stingy” Governor who could not allow them to lay hands on public funds as they used to do during a immediate former regime.
During his campaigns in 2017, Governor Wangamati promised to safeguard public funds, assuring the locals that every coin would be accounted for.
“Under my leadership, there will be no buying of a wheelbarrow at Ksh109,000.” said the actuarial some weeks at the Bungoma Bus stage some weeks before the election in reference to the controversy where the then Governor Ken Lusaka’s government became a laughing stock when it purchased ten wheelbarrows each at a comical Sh109,000!
True to his word, Governor Wangamati earned accolades by curbing wastage of any public funds and even shocked many when he fired his own close aly Joseph Kubende who had attempted to defraud the County Government of a paltry Sh432,000 through a ghost workshop in Nairobi.
Mr Kubende had only served for less than two weeks after being appointed as the County’s senior protocol officer by Wangamati.
With these kind of frustrations, the MCAs then resolved to blackmailing the governor through funny bills after the Governor had apparently denied them handouts to an extend of staging the street demo in town.
With the blackmails now mounting pressure to the Governor, the drama prompted the Big Man to convey a closed-door meeting with the growingly-stubborn MCAs where journalists were barred from covering the secret proceedings.
Sources privy to the meeting told this publication that the Governor bowed to pressure and keep listening to them including cooking some funny trips that would earn the county legislators some serious allowances as opposed to handouts which the governor is not good at giving.
The controversial trip to Uganda, according to a County Assembly source that requested for anonymity due to the fear of being victimized was part of the Governor’s strategy to convince the MCAs pass to support his projects.
“Of course benchmarking is important but the trip did not deserve to consume Sh43 million surely. Here, the Governor used the trip as a justification to reward the hungry MCAs.” Said the lady who works in one of the departments at the assembly.
Part of the mountain projects the Governor is worried that the MCAs might shoot down include the upgrade of the Kanduyi-Musikoma highway which will cost a whooping Ksh1.2 billion. On this project, local activist have claimed that the Governor wants the project initiated in order to get a heavy compensation for an adjacent prime property which is believed to own.
Another project the Governor is keen on is the upgrade of the Kanduyi Stadium which is set to cost over Sh600 million.
A dairy plant in Webuye and and a Sh2.5 billion airstrip at Matulo is also in the Governor’s diary.
With all these projects in mind, the Governor believes he will manage another second term in office and any gamble with the MCAs will as well doom his re-election.
The trip has raised concerns on the Governor’s commitment to curb wastage with many still roasting him for his recent comments where he publicly promised to favour members of his Ford Kenya party in his public appointments.